History Main / MelismaticVocals

20th Nov '16 8:36:47 AM Prfnoff
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* Music/BenjaminBritten's operas have melismas all over the place, especially in the parts written for Peter Pears (who had a talent for them). In ''Literature/TheTurnOfTheScrew'', Peter Quint's repeated melismatic calls of "Miles!" are an important {{Leitmotif}}.
18th Oct '16 2:34:18 AM AgProv
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Melisma migrated over to pop music at some indistinct point (credit for popularising it varies between Music/StevieWonder, Music/MariahCarey or some others), and now it's pretty common in R&B or R&B-influenced pop music. Remember Music/WhitneyHouston's "I Will Always Love You"? That's melisma.[[note]]Though to be fair, Music/DollyParton did it in the original version, too, though not nearly as much.[[/note]] It's easy to see why it ended up in pop music: used properly it can have a great effect. The only problem is that there have been many singers recently who just blindly abuse it to lend their songs some sort of "soulfulness" or whatever, and it just becomes annoying, as demonstrated by the above quote. A frequent way to deride these singers is to note that they take simple words like "yeah", "I" or "whoa" and stretch it to something like [[MemeticMutation over 9000]] syllables. But the real problem is that some artists don't have the skill or vocal range to actually pull it off.

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Melisma migrated over to pop music at some indistinct point (credit (credit[[note]]or blame[[/note]] for popularising it varies between Music/StevieWonder, Music/MariahCarey or some others), and now it's pretty common in R&B or R&B-influenced pop music. Remember Music/WhitneyHouston's "I Will Always Love You"? That's melisma.[[note]]Though to be fair, Music/DollyParton did it in the original version, too, though not nearly as much.[[/note]] It's easy to see why it ended up in pop music: used properly it can have a great effect. The only problem is that there have been many singers recently who just blindly abuse it to lend their songs some sort of "soulfulness" or whatever, and it just becomes annoying, as demonstrated by the above quote. A frequent way to deride these singers is to note that they take simple words like "yeah", "I" or "whoa" and stretch it to something like [[MemeticMutation over 9000]] syllables. But the real problem is that some artists don't have the skill or vocal range to actually pull it off.
9th May '16 3:07:38 PM bt8257
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-->'''Alexis Petridis''' [[http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2002/oct/25/artsfeatures.popandrock1 reviewing]] an AliciaKeys concert.

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-->'''Alexis Petridis''' [[http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2002/oct/25/artsfeatures.popandrock1 reviewing]] an AliciaKeys Music/AliciaKeys concert.
24th Apr '16 11:06:12 AM MasterofGalaxies4628
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Some singers who practise melisma also often sing {{Incredibly Long Note}}s, such as WhitneyHouston. However, another criticism levelled at melisma is that singers who ''can't'' pull off Incredibly Long Notes sometimes use the technique to give the illusion that they are doing so; stretching the syllable out without having to actually hold a particular note for very long.

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Some singers who practise melisma also often sing {{Incredibly Long Note}}s, such as WhitneyHouston. However, another criticism levelled leveled at melisma is that singers who ''can't'' pull off Incredibly Long Notes sometimes use the technique to give the illusion that they are doing so; stretching the syllable out without having to actually hold a particular note for very long.



* Edward Shippen Barnes gave us the most famous arrangement of the Christmas hymn "Angels We Have Heard On High", which features a 16-note melisma in its chorus that, while far from the most impressive example on this page, is probably the most well-known example of a melisma going beyond what most people would consider average.
-->''Glo-o-o-o-o-O-o-o-o-o-O-o-o-o-o-O-ri-a in Ex-cel-sis De-o!''
* George Ratcliffe Woodward's arrangement of "Ding Dong Merrily on High" ups the ante by featuring a 31-note melisma in its chorus (also involving "Gloria").



** Handel was pretty fond of melismas in general--the rest of the ''Messiah'' alone is full of examples.

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** Handel was pretty fond of melismas melisma in general--the rest of the ''Messiah'' alone is full of examples.



*** The seventh movement of the cantata ''Herr Jesu Christ, du höchstes Gut'' (BWV 113) is infamous for its abuse of melismas. In fact, it is considered almost unperformable due to the excessively long melismas.

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*** The seventh movement of the cantata ''Herr Jesu Christ, du höchstes Gut'' (BWV 113) is infamous for its abuse of melismas. melisma. In fact, it is considered almost unperformable due to the melisma instances being excessively long melismas.long.



* Edward Shippen Barnes, the person responsible for the most famous arrangement of the Christmas hymn "Angels We Have Heard On High".
-->''Glo-o-o-o-o-O-o-o-o-o-O-o-o-o-o-O-ri-a in Ex-cel-sis De-o!''



* Religious music was AMAZINGLY GOOD AT THIS. In a piece intended to be sung at Christmas Mass from the 1300s, 10 minutes were needed to sing two sentences due to the massive amounts of melisma.

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* Religious music was AMAZINGLY GOOD AT THIS.''amazingly good at this''. In a piece intended to be sung at Christmas Mass from the 1300s, 10 minutes were needed to sing two sentences due to the massive amounts of melisma.
28th Mar '16 1:13:22 PM mlsmithca
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*** Something he had in common with a lot of Baroque composers. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HAUNbNSYEA&feature=fvwrel "Vittoria mio core"]] is a notable example.

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*** Something he had in common with a lot of Baroque composers. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HAUNbNSYEA&feature=fvwrel com/watch?v=6HAUNbNSYEA "Vittoria mio core"]] is a notable example.example.
*** The seventh movement of the cantata ''Herr Jesu Christ, du höchstes Gut'' (BWV 113) is infamous for its abuse of melismas. In fact, it is considered almost unperformable due to the excessively long melismas.



*** He particularly liked writing these for his lifelong muse, one-time love interest and eventual [[SettleForSibling sister-in-law]] Alosiya Weber (she originated Queen of the Night in the Magic Flute, among others.) The 'concert arias' (arias where he never actually wrote the whole opera- often having taken lyrics from a work he'd seen and deciding he could do better) are even more extreme.
** The effect of these arias, especially in Baroque work, mean that lyrics are repeated over and over. This may have been so the audience got the message- Baroque opera audiences usually talked, socialised, ate, wondered about and played cards (and made assignations with prostitutes) while at the opera; it wasn't until the 19th century that they were expected to sit still in the dark and pay attention.

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*** He particularly liked writing these for his lifelong muse, one-time love interest and eventual [[SettleForSibling sister-in-law]] Alosiya Weber (she originated Queen of the Night in the ''The Magic Flute, Flute'', among others.) others). The 'concert arias' (arias where he never actually wrote the whole opera- opera - often having taken lyrics from a work he'd seen and deciding he could do better) are even more extreme.
** The effect of these arias, especially in Baroque work, mean that lyrics are repeated over and over. This may have been so the audience got the message- message - Baroque opera audiences usually talked, socialised, ate, wondered about and played cards (and made assignations with prostitutes) while at the opera; it wasn't until the 19th century that they were expected to sit still in the dark and pay attention.



* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode ''Dancing Homer'', Bleeding Gums Murphy's rendition of the American national anthem at the start of a baseball game is so full of melisma that he manages to make it last 26 minutes: he starts singing at 7:30, he finishes at 7:56, to the great relief of the audience.

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* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode ''Dancing Homer'', "Dancing Homer", Bleeding Gums Murphy's rendition of the American national anthem at the start of a baseball game is so full of melisma that he manages to make it last 26 minutes: he starts singing at 7:30, he finishes at 7:56, to the great relief of the audience.audience (except for Lisa, the only audience member smiling in rapt attention for the entire 26 minutes).



* The seventh movement of the cantata ''Herr Jesu Christ, du höchstes Gut'' (BWV 113) by J.S. Bach is infamous for its abuse of melismas. In fact, it is considered almost unperformable due to the excessively long melismas.



* Seriously parodied in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', where the singer performing the National Anthem at Springfield's baseball stadium goes on. And on. And on. And on. As she drags every line out to excruciating tedious length and makes a meal of every syllable, the sky is seen to darken behind her, the moon rises, the stars come out... the audience, standing with hand on heart, are seen swaying and getting dark-eyed with exhaustion.

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* Seriously parodied in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', where the singer performing the National Anthem at Springfield's baseball stadium goes on. And on. And on. And on. As she drags every line out to excruciating tedious length and makes a meal of every syllable, the sky is seen to darken behind her, the moon rises, the stars come out... the audience, standing with hand on heart, are seen swaying and getting dark-eyed with exhaustion.----
2nd Jan '16 5:40:29 AM Morgenthaler
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* In ''TheSimpsons'' episode ''Dancing Homer'', Bleeding Gums Murphy's rendition of the American national anthem at the start of a baseball game is so full of melisma that he manages to make it last 26 minutes: he starts singing at 7:30, he finishes at 7:56, to the great relief of the audience.

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* In ''TheSimpsons'' ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode ''Dancing Homer'', Bleeding Gums Murphy's rendition of the American national anthem at the start of a baseball game is so full of melisma that he manages to make it last 26 minutes: he starts singing at 7:30, he finishes at 7:56, to the great relief of the audience.



* Plenty of songs by SimonAndGarfunkel used this, though quite a few of their recordings were of traditional folk songs, so this was by necessity at times.

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* Plenty of songs by SimonAndGarfunkel Music/SimonAndGarfunkel used this, though quite a few of their recordings were of traditional folk songs, so this was by necessity at times.



* Sharon Den Adel (WithinTemptation) does that a whole lot in "Mother Earth".

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* Sharon Den Adel (WithinTemptation) (Music/WithinTemptation) does that a whole lot in "Mother Earth".



* DemiLovato

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* DemiLovatoMusic/DemiLovato



* ChinaAnneMcClain

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* ChinaAnneMcClainMusic/ChinaAnneMcClain
27th Dec '15 9:33:55 PM Twentington
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** Of course, she's not standing alone in the Country Music Pantheon. Music/FaithHill, Music/CarrieUnderwood, and Sara Evans all do it as well, and it's fairly common amongst country singers. So much so, in fact, that new singer Kimberly Perry of The Band Perry received praise for her "unpolished" vocals.

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** Of course, she's not standing alone in the Country Music Pantheon. Music/FaithHill, Music/CarrieUnderwood, and Sara Evans all do it as well, and it's fairly common amongst country singers. So much so, in fact, that new singer Kimberly Perry of The Band Perry Music/TheBandPerry received praise for her "unpolished" vocals.
25th Dec '15 12:48:49 PM Morgenthaler
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* DreamPop bands like Music/CocteauTwins, Music/ThisMortalCoil, Music/DeadCanDance and LoveSpiralsDownwards frequently used this trope. Awesomely.

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* DreamPop bands like Music/CocteauTwins, Music/ThisMortalCoil, Music/DeadCanDance and LoveSpiralsDownwards Music/LoveSpiralsDownwards frequently used this trope. Awesomely.
6th Jun '15 5:34:43 AM Patachou
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* HarryBelafonte: "Daaaay-O! Da-a-ay-O! Daylight come and I wanna go home!"
* DreamPop bands like CocteauTwins, ThisMortalCoil, Music/DeadCanDance and LoveSpiralsDownwards frequently used this trope. Awesomely.

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* HarryBelafonte: Music/HarryBelafonte: "Daaaay-O! Da-a-ay-O! Daylight come and I wanna go home!"
* DreamPop bands like CocteauTwins, ThisMortalCoil, Music/CocteauTwins, Music/ThisMortalCoil, Music/DeadCanDance and LoveSpiralsDownwards frequently used this trope. Awesomely.
5th May '15 7:07:11 PM ShinyTsukkomi
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** [[WolfgangAmadeusMozart Mozart]] was very fond of melismatic lines in his operas, usually given to the soprano but on occasion to the tenor (eg originally in ''Idomeneo, Re di Creta'') or bass (''The Abduction from the Seraglio''). The more famous examples include:

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** [[WolfgangAmadeusMozart [[Creator/WolfgangAmadeusMozart Mozart]] was very fond of melismatic lines in his operas, usually given to the soprano but on occasion to the tenor (eg originally in ''Idomeneo, Re di Creta'') or bass (''The Abduction from the Seraglio''). The more famous examples include:
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